Asian cities are particularly vulnerable to risks associated with natural disasters. While they are exposed to various types of natural hazards, flooding and other water-related disasters pose particularly significant risks and undermine long-term economic growth, especially in coastal cities. Between 1980 and 2017, Asia suffered disproportionately from natural disasters, both in terms of lives lost (over 1.2 million people or 71% of total global loss of life) and uninsured assets (89% of total losses of USD 1.69 trillion). Therefore, managing natural disaster risks is an essential component of urban policies in fast-growing Asian cities, especially as the impacts of climate change worsen.

This report focuses on national and subnational policy approaches to enhancing urban resilience. It assesses disaster risk management policies to enhance urban resilience in Southeast Asia, and proposes more efficient and effective policy options to policymakers and implementation partners in the region. The project was developed as part of the OECD Green Cities Programme, which explores how to promote green growth in cities, examining policies and governance practices that encourage environmental sustainability and competitiveness in a rapidly expanding economy.

In addition to providing a framework for assessing disaster risk management policies in cities, this report also presents the results of assessment and locally tailored policy recommendations in five cities of different institutional, geographic, socio-economic and environmental contexts in Southeast Asia. They include Bandung (Indonesia), Bangkok (Thailand), Cebu (Philippines), Hai Phong (Viet Nam) and Iskandar (Malaysia). Furthermore, the report also provides international best practices on disaster risk management in OECD and non-OECD countries, which can help national and subnational policy makers develop their own disaster risk management strategy.

This publication was produced by the Centre for Entrepreneurship, SMEs, Regions and Cities (CFE) of the OECD and approved by the OECD Regional Development Policy Committee and its Working Party on Urban Policy on 17 October 2018. As part of the OECD Green Growth Studies, this publication complements the broader work of the OECD Green Growth Strategy.

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